Saturday, May 19, 2012

Behind the Scenes of the First General Mills Blog Fest

General Mills has today a group of about 14 food bloggers (including myself!) who contribute with daily content for several of their brands website and consumer newsletters. This week, I had the pleasure to participate of the first General Mills Blog Fest which was a wonderful reunion of kind and talented people. Almost all bloggers were able to come to Minnesota and join in the fun! 

On the first day, we had a lovely dinner with the GM team at Cafe Lurcat. The guest of honor was the four James Beard Award winner, food/wine writer and restaurant critic, Dara Maskowitz, who lighted up the room and hosted a fantastic wine tasting for all of us!

For dinner, I had their addicting Apple, Manchego Cheese, and Chive Salad:

Followed by a super flavorful Pork Tenderloin with Bacon and Onion Jam:

And finished in style with this amazing Dark Chocolate Profiteroles with Salted Caramel Gelato and Candied Pecans:

On the second day, we all spent the day at General Mills corporate office, in Golden Valley. The facilities are gorgeous, spacious, bright, and filled with beautiful art. Our first stop, was at the Betty Crocker Kitchens. The photo bellow only shows a portion of the kitchen! The whole kitchen is gigantic! 

We were all very excited to get a behind the scenes tour of their food and equipment storage areas.

Here is their library of food magazines and cookbooks. I could spend 10 days locked in that room!

In this conference room are the many faces of Betty:

After the tour and a photo shoot, we were separated in teams. Each team got a basket with 5 ingredients and had to come up with a recipe: 

Our team had the chance to try out a new and delicious Pillsbury pizza dough (Artisan Whole Wheat) which will be in stores between July and August. We used it to make a Summer Berry Basil Pizza. The full recipe will be on Pillsbury's website soon!

Here is the Blueberry Team!! On the left is Sara from Sarah's Cucina Bella, right next to me is Bree Hester from I was honored to meet those very talented bloggers!

When we were all done cooking, we moved to the Tasting Panel, where the BC Kitchens Manager and few other team members taste foods and decide if is good to go or if it needs any adjustments. Luckily we passed the test!! 

After lunch we went down to the photo studios. They got a couple of short videos of us and after that we had to make our recipe all over again. Now it was time to style the food so it would be camera ready. We got wonderful tips on food styling and photography from GM employees.

There is our Summer Berry Basil Pizza on the screen! You guys cannot imagine how much work it is to get the foods and the photos just right!

Here we are again!


On the last day of the event we had a very informative meeting and brainstorming session with the GM team.

Those three days were not only fun but very valuable! I learned so much about the brands I'll be doing work for and got lots of advice to make my work better and better.

Thanks, General Mills!

Here is the list of GM contributing bloggers present at the BlogFest:

Angie McGowan from Eclectic Recipes
Deborah Harroun from Taste and Tell
Rachel Rappaport from Coconut and Lime
Sarah Caron from Sara's Cucina Bella
Stephanie Wise from girl versus dough
Bree Hester from baked bree
Joanne&Adam Gallagher from Inspired Taste
Paula Jones from bell'alimento
Brooke McLay from cheekykitchen
Lauren Keating from Healthy.Delicious
Mark Evitt from The Manly Housekeeper
Cheri Liefeld from Adventures in the Kitchen
Jessica Walker from Lil' Miss Bossy


  1. Very good!!!!!Estou encantada.Bjs da tia Rita

  2. Already missing Minneapolis! This was so much fun & it was so nice to meet you Paula!

  3. So nice meeting you, Paula! And great recap of the week -- it went by too fast!

  4. Que cozinha hem ?? Se ficou maluca ne ? Seu sonho de consumo. E aquela panelas todas ? Quero saber tudo sobre esse encontro. Entra no skype amanha a tarde. Esta tudo bem por ai ? saudades !

  5. It was great meeting you too, Paula and Stephanie. Can't wait for the next one!

  6. I so enjoyed hanging out with you and meeting you Paula! Even though we had to do a video... :)

    1. Same here, Jess! It was great meeting you!!

  7. It was so great to meet you! What a fun week it was!


Thank you for stopping by! I would love to hear from you!